Use 2015 as your “Get Out and Meet Donors” Year

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by Allan Burrows, President of CapDev

According to all the statistics, donors are “back” and “giving again.” Now that they are, my simple question to you is: Do you know them?

So often I hear from donors that the nonprofits they support never contact them unless they are being asked for money. Donors want to be connected to the organizations they support. With retention rates reaching all-time lows among donors, nonprofits need to make 2105 the “Get Out and Meet Donors” year!

How do you make it happen?

  • Simply make a staff and board commitment to connect and spend time with each significant donor (your nonprofit can define ‘significant’).
  • Use the initial timely acknowledgement letter to be more than the IRS requirement; share the impact of their gift to your nonprofit’s mission.
  • Follow-up shortly thereafter with a volunteer board member calling and thanking the donor and use the time to ask ‘why do you give’ and share those stories with the nonprofit.
  • Find time when small victories are achieved by your organization and send a personal note to the donor sharing the story and relaying how the gift made the difference.
  • Lastly, go and visit!

Many donors may say it’s not necessary, but I know firsthand that successful nonprofits are making personal contact with donors on a regular basis…and not only when the nonprofit wants money! The visit is about building trust and a relationship that will continue to connect the donor’s interest and the nonprofit’s needs. Use the visit to listen to the donor and share big ideas that match well with the donor.

These relationship can weather any future economic forecast! Happy 2015!

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